Foreign Ministers of G4 countries, including India, have called for an “early reform” of the UN Security Council and expansion of its permanent and non-permanent members. At a meeting here on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly Sessions of the United Nations, the ministers of G4 countries – Brazil, Germany, India and Japan – asserted that such a reform was essential to make the most powerful wing of the UN more representative and effective, reflecting the ground realities of the 21st century. A joint statement was issued after the meeting attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Brazilian Foreign Relations Minister Aloysio Nunes, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Japanese Foreign Minister Tarp Kono.
The four countries called for an “early reform” of the UN Security Council and enhanced role for developing countries as major contributors to the UN and improvement of working methods in order to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representatives. “Recognising that the number of the United Nations Member States has increased from 51 in 1945 to 193 today and that the current composition of the Council does not reflect the changed global realities, the Ministers stressed that the Council needs to reflect today’s world in order to be able to tackle today’s complex challenges,” the joint statement said.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar later told reporters that India had consistently maintained its position on expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council. “We have actually pushed for reform of the council including in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. We are happy that we are going to move towards a text based negotiation. And this is what we hope will happen in the present session of the General Assembly,” he said. The ministers welcomed Secretary General Antonino Guterres’s commitment of launching reforms to render the UN for the 21st century and recalled that an essential element of the overall efforts to reform the world body remained the reform of its Security Council. Swaraj had a series of bilateral meetings throughout the day. She met San Marino Foreign Minister Nicola Renzi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Moldova AndreiGalbur, Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir and Brazilian Foreign Minister Nunes Ferreira.
Swaraj exchanged pleasantries with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldayev and had conversation with Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi. Kumar said the focus of her meetings was on expanding bilateral relations especially in the economic and commercial areas. During the bilateral meetings, Swaraj pitched for foreign direct investment under the ‘Make in India’ and other initiatives, he adding that the leaders also discussed creating a dialogue mechanisms at the earliest. “With San Marino, food processing sector and packaging industry were identified as possible sectors for cooperation. With Saudi Arabia, a need was felt to diversify trade and same was the case with Brazil and Indonesia,” Kumar said.
In her address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial meeting, Swaraj said India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “There can be no justification for any acts of terrorism,” she said. Noting that connectivity with SCO countries is India’s priority, Swaraj said New Delhi wanted connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between their societies. “For this respect for sovereignty is essential. Inclusivity, transparency and sustainability are imperative. Our involvement with the international North South transport corridor, Chhabar agreement and a decision to join the Ashkhabad agreement are all relevant,” Kumar said.